Into the Woods, by James Lapine and Steven Sondheim, brings classic storybook characters together for a Tony Award-winning musical. This musical fairy tale mashup entwines stories of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and the baker and his wife into a not-so-happily-ever-after that is a treat for the eyes and the ears. These characters come together May 7, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7:30 pm and May 17 at 2 p.m. in Eastvold Auditorium of the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts at PLU.
PLU’s production comes less than one year after Disney premiered the first film adaption of the musical with a slew of A-list celebrities. Yet, big names don’t always equal the best.
“This is truth, what often gets missed in modern musical movies is the importance of the singing voice. Having an actor who might create a draw is more important than musical ability,” Jeff Clapp, director, remarks. “Sondheim is musically and physically demanding of the actors. Having a show like this, done here at PLU will be different, because we have some of the best singers and performers in the state. If nothing else, this production will definitely outshine the movie because of the amazing voices involved.”
Unlike golden age musicals, where long scenes of dialogue follow musical numbers, the plot of Into the Woods is driven within the music.
“Almost every song is a character study. The lyrics are so important to the character and the understanding of the play,” Clapp says. “It is not just ‘park and bark’ and sound pretty. It is ‘sound pretty and make sure you hit every emotion in any particular song,’ which is really a study of discovery, emotion, plot, character, psychological motivations, subtext, etc… and by the way you have two minutes ….GO.”
``Having a show like this, done here at PLU will be different, because we have some of the best singers and performers in the state.`` - Jeff Clapp, Director
May 7, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7:30 pm and May 17 at 2 p.m.
Eastvold Auditorium of the Karen Hille Phillips Center
Available at the Concierge Desk in the Anderson University Center, at 253-535-7411 [credit/debit/cash], and at the door before the show [cash only].
$8 general admission, $5 senior citizens and alumni, $3 PLU community, students and 18 and under.
Clapp is working alongside musical director Molly Barnes, a senior vocal performance major. Each director gets to do what they do best, Barnes handles all the musical aspects of the production while Clapp pays attention to the script and the technical side. There are around 38 students that make up the cast, which is equally split between theatre and music students. Around 20 more students are involved with costume, set and light construction. The entire process has been enriching for the actors and Clapp.
“As the actor becomes more familiar with the role, my greatest joy is to watch them become more bold with choices and discovering nuances, motivations and emotional through-lines to their characters,” Clapp says. “There have been some great breakthroughs and ‘ah ha’ moments. As always, I’m looking forward to opening night.”
Tickets for Into the Woods are $8 general admission, $5 senior citizens and alumni, $3 PLU community, students and 18 and under. Students can get in free for a student preview May 7. The performance on May 8 is part of the School of Arts and Communication FOCUS Series event on perspective. Tickets are available at the Concierge Desk in the Anderson University Center, 253-535-7411 [credit/debit/cash), and can be purchased at the door before the show [cash only]. Concessions will be available for purchase in the lobby before the show and during intermission.